SCCPSS continues to evaluate, improve active-shooter training techniques

For months now, police officers have been giving presentations and teaching Savannah-Chatham County Public School System staff a game plan for any potential crisis situation.
The active-shooter training workshops include everyone, from cafeteria and janitorial staff to the gym and music teachers, basically, anyone who can help keep your kids safe should a shooter come into their school.

"We'll meet with whoever we need to meet with so we can formulate a safety plan, not just for inside the school, but in the situation in San Bernardino, that could've happened in the parking lot before and after school just as easily,” said SCCPSS Police Department Operations Director Capt. Ron Priest.

Thinking of all the angles is something that puts the mind of one parent I spoke to at ease.

"I want to make sure that my son is going to come back to me the way I sent him off to school,” said Crystal Hill, mother of a Savannah-Chatham middle school student.

That's why the school system initiated the CRASE training, or Civilian Response to Active Shooter Event training, for faculty and staff.
The training adds another layer of protection in addition to safeguards like metal detectors. Students are also exposed to active shooter preparations to some degree.

"We don't technically train the students, but we put the students through a functional exercise that the teachers have been trained to handle, to see how it responds. One good thing about a practical exercise is you learn things from that, what can we do better, what did we do wrong. We want to learn those through an exercise, we don't want to learn it through the real thing,” said Capt. Priest.

The drills and training are the new norms for many other school districts around the country, Hill believes a sign of changing times.

"It's definitely changed. Because I remember when we used to do all that, hurricane drills, tornado. Yeah, it's much different now,” Hill said.

Capt. Priest says one of the most important things you can do to help maintain school safety is sharing anything that might be of concern.

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